A December Julius Caesar from The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company

Peter G. Andersen, Chase Brantley, Cloteal L. Horne, and (in background) Samantha Yeates. Photo by Alissa Mesibov.

Peter G. Andersen, Chase Brantley, Cloteal L. Horne, and (in background) Samantha Yeates. Photo by Alissa Mesibov.

Julius Caesar, co-directed by two longtime Shakespeare & Company artists, Andrew Borthwick-Leslie and Michael F. Toomey is next up as part of The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company. Now in its seventh year, the Conservatory, a 13-week professional actor-training program includes 10-16 promising actors from across the country and around the globe. This year’s program features a group of 10 who will expose Shakespeare’s poetry-filled psychological drama Julius Caesar for three performances in the Tina Packer Playhouse.

Performances of Julius Caesar will run in the Tina Packer Playhouse December 13 at 7:00 p.m. and December 14 at 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Tickets are general admission, $20 for adults and $10 for students. The Tina Packer Playhouse is wheelchair accessible. For further information and to order tickets visit the website at www.Shakespeare.org or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Julius Caesar follows the conspiracy against and the assassination of the Roman dictator and the aftermath that ensues from his murderJulius Caesar is a time-transcending tale that spotlights liberty, honor, and friendship, where the visceral meets the intellectual. Julius Caesar is the perfect vehicle to challenge, engage, and strengthen this group of up-and-coming actors.

“Julius Caesar is intensely physical, with epic themes surrounding community, love and power structures,” says Director Andrew Borthwick-Leslie. “It’s timely and it gives the actors material that allows them to get outside themselves.”

The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company performs the classic tragedy December 13-14.

The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company performs the classic tragedy December 13-14.

The Conservatory trains actors in specialized techniques developed by Shakespeare & Company over its 36 year existence. Under the direction of long-time S&Co. artists and teachers, Conservatory actors take classes in Structure of the Verse, Shakespeare Scholarship, The First Folio, The Art of Rhetoric, Personal Connection, Linklater Voice Technique, Clown, Fight, Movement, and Elizabethan Dance. The Conservatoryconcludes with an exploration of Shakespeare’s work in the Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse, during which the participants utilize their newly-learned techniques for a live audience. Visit www.Shakespeare.org/training for Conservatory applications, and more information on all of our Training programs for students and teachers.

“The story of Julius Caesar is one that is unfolding in our daily lives. We see it through the media in countries around the world.” says Director Michael Toomey. People are rising up, challenging policies and overthrowing tyrants. It is raw and visceral and this play lets the actors take hold of that authenticity.“

Over the past 36 years, Shakespeare & Company has had a profound impact on the way Shakespeare is performed in America. Company artists are encouraged to explore the actor/audience relationship, to discover a personal connection to the text, and to fully integrate their minds, bodies, and spirits in order to create an exhilarating theatrical event.

“Central to the reason for these participants choice of this program is the Shakespeare & Company approach to actor training, with its emphasis on fully-embodied language in performance,” says Director of Training Dennis Krausnick.  “Participants receive classes in audition technique and stage fight proficiency, and will be well-positioned to embark on their careers in professional theatre. The Conservatory has continued to evolve in each of the years we’ve offered it, and I have no doubt that this year it will surpass what has been achieved up until this point.”

Training workshops at S&Co. began in 1978 when Tina Packer, Dennis Krausnick, master voice coach Kristin Linklater, movement choreographer John Broome, fight choreographer B.H. Barry, Artistic Director Tony Simotes, and many others created a blueprint for approximately 40 Month-Long Training Intensives to be hosted by Shakespeare & Company over the next quarter century.  Along with the Conservatoryprogram, the Company also offers Weekend IntensivesWeek-Long Text Intensives, Week-Long Rhetoric classes, Fight and Text WorkshopsMaster Teacher SeriesClown Workshops and more.  Actors, directors, and writers from all over the world come to work with the Company, training not only their voices and bodies, but also delving into their imaginations, intellects, and emotional lives.  Past training participants include Karen Allen, Lauren Ambrose, Gillian Barge, Joe Morton, Andie MacDowell, Anna Deavere Smith, Keanu Reeves, Diana Quick, Courtney Vance, Sigourney Weaver and Raquel Welch.

Janie Gibson. Photo by Alissa Mesibov.

Janie Gibson. Photo by Alissa Mesibov.

The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company
Auditions and Admission:

The 2014 Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company is limited to 12-16 students. The program begins mid-September and ends mid-December with the final performance and title of the semester show to be determined. The Conservatory is a total of 13 weeks. Tuition for the Conservatory is $9,800, and includes housing. Alumni and union discounts still apply. Admission to The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company is by audition only. Applicants should submit a completed application and an audition video. The video may be in DVD or VHS format and should include two contrasting Shakespeare monologues and a brief personal statement. The monologues should be approximately one minute each. The personal statement should be about 60 seconds and should consist of a description of why you are interested in participating in The Conservatory. Contact the Training Department with any questions. Visitwww.Shakespeare.org/Training, for applications and more information on all of our Training programs for students and teachers.


ANDREW BORTHWICK-LESLIE twenty-second season has taught, directed and acted for twenty years. His roles at S&Co. range from Lornzo in The Merchant of Venice to Mr. Bardolph in Lettice and Lovage. He has taught acting and voice at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Emerson College, DeSales University and the University of Maryland among others. Andrew has run workshops for the Center for Renaissance Studies, the American Bar Association,the New England Homeless Veterans shelter and many more. He has directed,devised, or assisted on over fifty productions -from Cymbeline to Perestroika.  Most recently he directed Love’s Labour’s Lost for the Shakespeare Forum at the Gym at Judson in Washington Square.

DENNIS KRAUSNICK founding member (Director of Training; Board of Trustees; Summer Training Institute faculty) Krausnick played the title role in King Lear at S&Co in 2012 and at other theaters on five previous occasions. He teaches and directs in theater programs across the country as well as designing and leading the actor-training programs for S&Co; long-time audience members will remember his adaptations of the fiction of Edith Wharton performed over two decades in the Salon of The Mount during Shakespeare & Company’s time there.

MICHAEL F. TOOMEY* fourteenth season (Costard in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Ensemble in Mother Courage). Michael is a long time company member appearing in such roles asMacbeth (title role), Hamlet (Polonius), Henry V (Bardolph), Caesar (title role), The Canterville Ghost (Mr. Otis). He teaches both Fight and Clown through out the country. He is a Founding Member of Split Knuckle Theatre performing around the globe. Michael is also the Co-Artistic Director for the Humanist Project, a company dedicated to investigating the human experience on Stage, in the Studio and in life. The Ladies Man(Bassinett), Scapin (title role).

At a Glance

PRODUCTION: Julius Caesar
THEATRE: Tina Packer Playhouse
PLAYWRIGHT: William Shakespeare
DIRECTORS: Andrew Borthwick-Leslie and Michael F. Toomey
STAGE MANAGER: Maegan PassafumeCAST: Peter G. Andersen, Chase Brantley, Lily Cardaropoli, Megan Cobb, Janie Gibson, Cloteal L. Horne, Elizabeth C.J. Roberts, Dara Silverman, Leah Sutton and Samantha Yeates.

SOUND DESIGNER: Brendan Conroy
SET DESIGNER: Patrick Brennan

One thought on “A December Julius Caesar from The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company

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